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This comprehensive four-level Boilermaking curriculum prepares learners for a career as skilled professionals in the field. The curriculum places strong emphasis on key system components, pipe fabrication, and safety analysis and pre-job safety check lists. Coverage of towers, vessels, and furnaces, up-to-date techniques for cutting and fitting gaskets, base metal preparation, and welding basics are also included.

The four-level Boilermaking curriculum complies with the U.S. Department of Labor’s standards for apprenticeship programs.

Craft Snapshot

Journey Level
Assessment Available
2010, 2nd Edition
NCCERconnect Deliver instruction using our pre-loaded content and course management tools, streamline training, and track results through the online gradebook. Students learn using the interactive eTextbook and Media Library with Active Figures that bring the material to life, anytime and anywhere they choose.
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Curriculum Details

2nd Edition
Total Recommended Hours
Competencies & Objectives Lists
Levels 1-4: 700, includes Core hours Click here
Introduction to Boilermaking
10 Hours

Module ID 34101-10: Provides an overview of the boilermaker craft, including a description of career opportunities.

Boilermaking Safety
12.5 Hours

Module ID 34102-10: Covers safety issues specific to boilermakers on the job.

Boilermaking Tools
15 Hours

Module ID 34103-10: Introduces the hand and power tools used by boilermakers, and the associated safety concerns.

Basic Materials
10 Hours

Module ID 34104-10: Identifies materials used in the construction of boilers, including material properties, standards and codes, and material markings.

Oxyfuel Cutting
17.5 Hours

Module ID 34105-10: Explains the safety requirements associated with oxyfuel cutting. Describes straight line, bevel, piercing, and washing techniques.

Cutting and Fitting Gaskets
12.5 Hours

Module ID 34106-10: Describes gasket materials used in mating flanges and procedures for laying out and cutting a flange gasket.

Base Metal Preparation
10 Hours

Module ID 34107-10: Describes how to clean and prepare base metals for cutting and welding.

Welding Basics
22.5 Hours

Module ID 34108-10: Describes welding and cutting processes and related equipment. Includes filler metals, joint design, and the codes that govern welding practices.

Boiler Systems and Components
22.5 Hours

Module ID 34201-11: Introduces boiler configurations and applications. Identifies boiler components and explains their functions.

Identifying and Installing Valves
20 Hours

Module ID 34202-11: Identifies valves found in boiler systems. Describes valve components and explains their functions. Explains how to select, store, handle, and install valves, and describes valve markings and nameplate information.

Pipe Hangers and Supports
25 Hours

Module ID 34203-11: Identifies pipe hangers and supports and explains how to interpret pipe support drawings and symbols. Explains how to select, store, handle, install, and maintain spring can supports.

Drawings and Detail Sheets
15 Hours

Module ID 34204-11: Explains how to read drawings and their symbols. Covers plot plans, structural drawings, elevation drawings, as-built drawings, equipment arrangement drawings, piping and instrumentation drawings, isometric drawings, spool sheets, detail sheets, and orthographic drawings.

Fasteners and Anchors
5 Hours

Module ID 34205-11: Covers threaded and non-threaded fasteners and anchoring devices. Explains how to select fasteners and anchors for given applications. Describes how to install threaded, non-threaded, and insulated fasteners and anchors.

Welding Symbols
5 Hours

Module ID 34206-11: Explains how to read symbols on welding drawings, specifications, and welding procedure specifications. Describes the symbols for fillet welds, groove welds, miscellaneous other welds, and non-destructive tests.

Socket Weld Pipe Fabrication
25 Hours

Module ID 34207-11: Describes different types of socket weld piping materials and fittings and how to read socket weld piping drawings. Explains how to determine pipe lengths between socket weld fittings, as well as how to mate socket weld fittings to pipe.

Butt Weld Pipe Fabrication
40 Hours

Module ID 34208-11: Covers preparing pipe ends for butt welding; determining pipe lengths between butt weld fittings; and using welding jigs to align pipe and butt weld fittings for welding. Explains how to select and install backing rings.

Tube Weld Preparation and Fitting
15 Hours

Module ID 34209-11: Describes methods used to gain access to boiler tubes needing repair, and to prepare boiler tubes for replacement. Explains how to fit-up a section of boiler tube. Describes welding procedures for making butt welds on standard carbon steel tubes and composite tubes.

Air Carbon Arc Cutting and Gouging
12.5 Hours

Module ID 34210-11: Describes air carbon arc cutting (CAC-A) equipment and processes. Explains how to select and install CAC-A electrodes, and how to prepare the work area and CAC-A equipment for safe operation. Provides instructions for using CAC-A equipment for washing and gouging activities.

Plasma Arc Cutting
7.5 Hours

Module ID 29103-09: from Welding Level One, Fourth Edition

Boiler Pressure Components
25 Hours

Module ID 34301-11: Describes the pressure components of a boiler system and their locations. Explains the procedures required to repair pressure components of a boiler

Boiler Nonpressure Components
15 Hours

Module ID 34302-11: Describes the nonpressure components of a boiler system and their locations. Explains the procedures required to repair nonpressure components of a boiler.

Boiler Auxiliaries
25 Hours

Module ID 34306-11: Describes the air flow systems within a boiler system and the different fuels used to fire boiler system furnaces. Describes ash removal systems and the equipment used to protect the environment. Covers the feed water system into a boiler and the blow down from a boiler system.

Brick, Refractory, Insulation, and Lagging (BRIL)
5 Hours

Module ID 34305-11: Describes types of BRIL and explains their functions. Also addresses hazards associated with BRIL.

Advanced Tube Work
20 Hours

Module ID 34303-11: Explains the methods used to identify problem tubes and extract them. Also describes the methods used for replacing and plugging tubes.

Testing Piping Systems and Equipment
20 Hours

Module ID 34308-11: Lists pretest requirements for boiler system piping systems and equipment. Describes service and flow tests, head pressure tests, and hydrostatic tests performed on boiler system piping systems and equipment.

22.5 Hours

Module ID 15206-07: from Millwright Level Two

Towers and Exchangers
25 Hours

Module ID 34307-11: Explains the functions of towers and exchangers and the basic distillation process. Describes various types of towers and exchangers and their components.

Advanced Mechanical Trade Math
15 Hours

Module ID 34401-12: Covers tables of equivalents and units of conversion. Explains the basics of trigonometry and how to apply them to the installation of pipe. Explains how to calculate the weight of objects.

Advanced Rigging
20 Hours

Module ID 34410-12: Explains how to determine the center of gravity for objects to be rigged and how a load’s weight and center of gravity affect lifting devices such as cranes. Describes how to use cribbing to support lifted loads. Covers the use of slings and spreader or equalizer bars to lift loads. Describes the tools used to move loads laterally. Explains how to determine the center of gravity of asymmetrical loads.

Advanced Boilermaking Construction Drawings
20 Hours

Module ID 34402-12: Covers symbols and abbreviations used on piping and instrumentation drawings and piping arrangement drawings. Explains how to read and interpret different types of construction drawings. Explains how to sketch an isometric drawing from a plan view drawing, and how to calculate line lengths from isometric drawings.

Advanced Pipe Fabrication
50 Hours

Module ID 08402-07: from Pipefitting Level Four.

Stress Relieving
10 Hours

Module ID 34406-12: Covers metal distortion and ways to prevent it. Explains thermal growth in metals, and how to calculate thermal growth in given metals. Explains how misalignment creates stress in metals. Describes ways to relieve stress in piping that is experiencing distortion due to welding, thermal growth, or misalignment.

Quality Assurance
10 Hours

Module ID 34407-12: Covers codes governing welding and boilers. Describes weld imperfections and their causes. Identifies and explains different nondestructive and destructive testing methods. Explains how to make visual inspections of fillet welds. Describes welder qualification testing, and stresses the importance of quality workmanship.

Advanced Exchangers
25 Hours

Module ID 34411-12: Identifies different types of heat exchangers and their components. Describes methods used to test exchangers, and how to pull exchanger bundles. Explains how to replace a flange and a nozzle on an exchanger.

Advanced Towers
25 Hours

Module ID 34412-12: Identifies different types of towers and their components. Explains how to remove and replace different types of packing used in towers. Describes methods used to make field repairs to tower trays. Explains how to remove a tower distributer for maintenance.

Fundamentals of Crew Leadership
20 Hours

Module ID 46101-11, Second Edition: Covers basic leadership skills and explains different leadership styles, communication, delegating, and problem solving. Jobsite safety and the crew leader’s role in safety are discussed, as well as project planning, scheduling, and estimating. Includes performance tasks to assist the learning process.

Contributing Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are a vital part of NCCER’s Curriculum development process. SMEs are construction and maintenance professionals who have journey-level experience and have experience teaching their trades to others.

View Subject Matter Experts
Contributing Subject Matter Experts
Below is a list of subject matter experts for this craft:

Brian Walker, Starcon




Gabriel Sanchez, Zachry


Mark Rash, Repcon Strickland

Mike Wells, Qualified Contractors, Inc.


Raymond P. Garner Jr., Constellation Energy

Roger Ivey, KBR Construction Co., Inc.

Instructor Resources

Instructor Toolbox

NCCER’s Instructor Toolbox provides easy access to important instructional resources for your training program. You’ll find downloadable course planning tools, examples of classroom activities and projects, and instructor tips and best practices to help you enhance your program.


NCCER’s assessments evaluate the knowledge of an individual in a specific craft area and provide a prescription for upgrade training when needed. All assessments are based upon the NCCER Curriculum and have been developed in conjunction with subject matter experts from the industry. Click the assessment title below to open its specifications.

Boilermaker - Pressure Vessel